Concours d'Elegance of America : Best of Show


1937 Talbot-Lago T150CSS and 1934 Packard 1108

The 38th Concours d'Elegance of America displayed over 300 of the world's most spectacular contributions to automotive history. This year, the event paid tribute to many special features inclduing Ford GT-40s, Body by Dietrich, Rally Cars, Pierce Arrow, 110 years of Lancia, Jet-Age Travel Trucks, and a spectacular assortment of Classics and early Brass Cars.

The days activites ended with naming the winners of Best of Show American and Best of Show Foreign.

1937 Talbot-Lago T150CSS Coupe by Figoni & Falaschi

Best in Show Foreign: 1937 Talbot-Lago T150CSS Coupe by Figoni & Falaschi

owned by J.W. Marriott, Jr.

It is said that the Talbot-Lago T-150C chassis inspired the design of many open roadsters and closed cars, most notably a series of curvaceous custom coupes. Produced in France, the ultra-rare Talbot-Lagos are among the most sought after collector cars ever built. Featuring exceptionally streamlined styling and certainly light enough to be raced competitively, they were called Goutte d'Eau (drop of water), and they became known as Teardrop Talbots. Famed Parisian coachbuilders Joseph Figoni and Ovidio Falaschi would actually patent the car's distinctive flowing shape.

1937 Talbot-Lago T150CSS Coupe by Figoni & Falaschi

Figoni & Falaschi of Paris introduced their curvaceous coupe on a T150C-SS chassis at the 1937 Paris Auto Salon, with the model Jeancart. This coupe, with the same chassis as its base, followed in New York and became known as the goutte d'eau or teardrop. Originally intended for race the Type 150-SS was given a 4-liter inline 6-cylinder, three carburetor motor with a hemi head.

This car made a bold statement at the 1937 Auto Show held at the New York Auto Show at the Grand Central Palace. This is the prototype car of the style #9220 known as Goutte du Eau - 'Teardrop.' It is considered by many as one of the most iconic shapes in the Automotive French Art Deco era. The Fagoni & Falaschi style is flamboyant, yet elegant. Their use of wild and bright colors made their cars very popular among the participants in early French Concours d'Elegance events.

1937 Talbot-Lago T150CSS Coupe by Figoni & Falaschi

There are believed to be approximately ten to twelve type 9220 Goutte du Eau coupes built between 1937 and 1938. These are high performance sports coupes, built to rival any of the world's great cars. It is said that it took Figoni & Falaschi craftsmen 2,100 hours to complete a single body, and no two Teardrop coupes are alike. This is a top-of-the-line SS (Super Sport) version featuring independent front suspension.

This example is the only known aluminum body and fender car built. The car spent its early life in France and Switzerland. This was also the first 'New York-style' Teardrop coupe built. Its first owner was Freddie McEvoy, an Australian member of the 1936 British Olympic bobsled team. A prominent player on the Hollywood scene, McEvoy's ready access to celebrities made him the ideal high profile owner. It was relocated stateside in 2000. The restoration was completed in 2011.

1934 Packard 1108-65 Convertible Victoria by Dietrich

Best in Show American: 1934 Packard 1108-65 Convertible Victoria by Dietrich

owned by Joseph & Margie Cassini, III

The individual custom Convertible Victorias were introduced in 1932 and featured the unique V-shaped windscreen and wraparound cowl in the driver's cabin. Another unique feature includes the teardrop-style fenders which required a significant amount of body tub modifications in order to allow the fenders to be fitted. Dual rear-mounted spare tires and the gas tank would also require extensive modifications. The V-windshield allows a wraparound interior cowl that drops down with a smooth curved line that carries on to the doors. The windows roll down completely to continue the sweep, whether the windows are up or down. This is the only Dietrich body car to feature vent windows.

As was usual for the time several bodies were built at the same time and only trimmed, upholstered and painted at the time of purchased. It is thought at least 10 - 12 individual custom Convertible Victorias were built for the 1932 - 1934 Twelve chassis and this car is considered the last of that short run.

1934 Packard 1108-65 Convertible Victoria by Dietrich

The Packard Twelve 445.5 cubic-inch engine produced 160 horsepower, plus a mighty 322 lb-ft of torque which peaked at only 1,400 RPM. It was one of the fastest cars you could buy for the money. There were very few, if any, cars which could challenge its title, 'Boss of the Road.'

The Packard Twelve was built from 1933 to 1939 with over 35,000 examples produced. It is considered by many to be one of the finest automobiles produced by Packard and one of the most significant creations of the Classic Era. Most of the Packard Twelves received factory bodies; only a handful received custom coachwork by such greats as LeBaron and Dietrich. This unique example has semi-custom features including the distinctive Raymond Dietrich styled teardrop fenders. Dietrich used a Custom Victoria body as a starting point for the design, which was built by Packard as an in-house special.

After going through numerous owners, briefly serving as a taxi-cab and spending 30 years in Puerto Rico, this car was purchased by the current owner. A full restoration was commissioned and over 10,000 hours were spent at two restoration shops. It has since received numerous national awards and participated in several tours.

Restoration began in the spring of 2012, took more than 10,000 hours and was completed in 2013.

1934 Packard 1108-65 Convertible Victoria by Dietrich

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